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2nd Medal of Honor awarded for service in Afghanistan

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  • 2nd Medal of Honor awarded for service in Afghanistan

    Jared C. Monti posthumously awarded Medal of Honor

    Sgt. First Class Monti was with 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalary, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division when he was killed in Afghanistan.

    RAYNHAM — .Janet Monti was home nursing a cold when the call came in.

    At first, she thought it was a joke.

    A person who claimed to be a White House aide asked if she would be around for the next half hour.

    Ten minutes later, she was on the phone with the president.

    “He said, ‘I hear you’re a little under the weather,’” she recalled of President Barack Obama’s first words to her.

    His next words made her swell with a mother’s pride.

    The president told her he had just signed a posthumous Medal of Honor for her son and would be presenting it to the family in the fall.

    Three years after his death, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti, son of Paul Monti of Raynham and Janet Monti of Winterville, N.C., will receive the nation’s highest military honor for bravery.

    He becomes only the sixth solider from Iraq and Afghanistan to be so recognized.

    For his mother, the moment was bittersweet.

    “All I could think was ‘We’re going to meet the president, but it’s because my son died,’” she said.

    Jared Monti was killed by enemy fire on June 21, 2006, while trying to rescue wounded comrades in the mountains of Afghanistan. He was 30.

    He died as he lived, with heroism and compassion, those who knew him say.

    “He was generous, respected and professional. Everyone in the Army will talk the same way about him,” said Master Sgt. Lee Power who served with Monti at Fort Drum. “He had a quiet confidence. Some people try to sell themselves, but that was not Jared. He knew his job inside and out.”

    Jared dreamed of being in the military since he was a child, his mother recalled.

    And he had the adventurous spirit to match.

    When he was 4, he disappeared while playing in the backyard and she found him dangling by the hood of his sweatshirt on the other side of the stockade fence.

    He once stayed home from school with a fierce migraine but was soon discovered climbing a tree.

    He seemed to have a guardian angel on his shoulder.

    “He was just very lucky. He lived on the edge but he never got hurt,” Janet Monti said.

    Jared wanted to be a pilot. When Janet Monti visited her sister in Virginia Beach, she would bring home photos of planes flying out of the Norfolk naval air force base. “That’s all he talked about.”

    But chronic headaches kept him from flying. He enlisted in the Army in March 1993.

    By the time he graduated Bridgewater-Raynham High School in 1994, a star athlete and New England wrestling champion, Jared was ready to serve.

    He trained at Fort Sill, Okla. and was one of the first soldiers to undergo forward observer training with the 86th Airborne.

    His generosity was as natural as his ability to lead, colleagues say.

    At Fort Bragg, he gave away a $500 kitchen table to a fellow soldier whose children were eating on the floor. In Bosnia, he drove children to school in his Humvee. He gave away all the new clothes his family sent him.

    He could have taken a medical discharge after Kosovo from injuries suffered in his numerous parachute jumps. But he signed up for another tour when he learned the men he trained were being deployed.

    He arrived in Afghanistan with Task Force Spartan in February 2006. Four months later, his team was occupying a surveillance position when it was ambushed.

    Power was in Iraq watching armed forces news when Monti’s face appeared on the screen.

    “It took the wind out of me. All his colleagues will tell you it was a blow to them when he fell,” he said.

    Janet Monti said she called her mother in Virginia Beach after she spoke to Obama. She was so excited, “I thought she was going to jump through the phone.”

    Jared Monti will live on in his hometown where a street corner has been dedicated to him and a children’s park and college scholarship bear his name.

    Power said a new building to train fire specialists at Fort Sill will also be named after him.

    But the medals and honors won’t erase a mother’s pain.

    After the Fort Sill dedication and the medal ceremony in the fall, “that’s it,” Janet Monti said. ‘It’s just too hard and it doesn’t get any easier.”

    It was emotional for Bob Crown to learn Jared had been awarded the Medal of Honor. It was his former son-in-law Derek who Jared saved that fateful day in June.

    “Jared’s death tore this family apart. He was still a kid in my eyes,” Crown said. “He deserves this. He deserves this.”

    Climb To Glory

    R.I.P. Bro...
    Last edited by Ndnsoldierboy; 08-03-2009, 02:58 PM.
    R.I.P. my Bros from the 1st MAR DIV, 3rd MAR DIV, 25th I.D., 10th MTN DIV, V Corps, 170th IBCT who gave their lives in the Cold War, Marines we lost in Korea during Team Spirit '89 & Okinawa '89- bodies never recovered, Panama, 1st Gulf War, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq...

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